By Zachary Stieber
Former Secretary of State and retired Gen. Colin Powell has died at age 84, his family announced Monday.
Powell “passed away this morning due to complications from COVID-19,” the family said in a statement.
The death came despite Powell being fully vaccinated against the virus that causes COVID-19.
Powell was being cared for at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
“We want to thank the medical staff at Walter Reed National Medical Center for their caring treatment. We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American,” the family said.
Walter Reed did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Powell, born on April 5, 1937, in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood, served for 35 years in the Army, including two tours in Vietnam.
He was part of the Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush administrations, with positions including national security adviser, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and secretary of state.
Powell was a Republican but had grown increasingly disenchanted with the party, appearing at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in 2020 and endorsing then-candidate Joe Biden over incumbent Donald Trump.
Condolences began coming in Monday after news of Powell’s death spread.
“He was a great public servant, starting with his time as a soldier during Vietnam. Many Presidents relied on General Powell’s counsel and experience,” former President George W. Bush said on Twitter.
“The world lost one of the greatest leaders that we have ever witnessed,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told reporters in Washington. “Alma lost a great husband, and the family lost a tremendous father. And I lost a tremendous personal friend and mentor. We will certainly miss him.”
President Biden said in a statement that Powell “believed in the promise of America because he lived it and he devoted much of his life to making that promise a reality for so many others.”